“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to His purpose.” – Romans 8:28 AV
Consider: For something to work together for my good, surely God has to, somehow, turn it into a blessing.1Lu 18:27 NIV Jesus replied, “What is impossible with men is possible with God.” Doesn’t faith inspire an omnificent God to creatively combine things together into a blessing?2Heb 11:1 AV Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
Further Consideration: If everything becomes a blessing, is it not possible the answer to my prayers may look absolutely nothing like what I’m expecting; perhaps even looking like something that would normally be considered a curse? 3Num 21:8 AV And the Lord said unto Moses, make thee a fiery serpent, and set it on a pole: and it shall come to pass, that everyone that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live
My Prayer: God help me4Ps 121:1-2 NIV I lift up my eyes to the hills — where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth. to remain focused on You and Your promises and not be distracted by my circumstances. You are omnipotent; my circumstances are not!5Joh 19:10b-11a NIV Pilate said, “Don’t you realize I have power either to free you or to crucify you?” Jesus answered, “You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above.” Help me to remember that even if I’m walking through the valley of the shadow of death that You are with me.6Psalm 23:4 AV Yeah, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me, thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? — Ro 8:31-32 AV
The rich and famous don’t add credibility to the gospel message any more than the poor and unknown. 7Acts 10:34-35 AV Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him. Certainly it’s the presence of God that makes the gospel credible? 2Joh 14:23 NIV Jesus replied, “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. Jesus’ sacrifice made it possible for us to be in right relationship with God. Does not the Holy Spirit prepare us for the presence of God? 3Joh 14:26 AV But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. Only by cooperating with the Holy Spirit will God dwell in us, his temple. 4Ga 5:16-17 AV This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. When God dwells in us, through Christ Jesus, our lives are a living testimony of the power of the gospel. 5Ga 5:23-24 AV But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. History is dotted with men and women who carried the presence of God. 6Ga 5:25 AV If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
“Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” -Jesus Christ 7Joh 15:4-5 NIV
On some occasions people would have a burning conviction of sin just sitting nearby Smith Wigglesworth because of the presence of God he carried with him at all times. Once he boarded a train in Bradford bound for London and entered a compartment where five other people later had entered. Wigglesworth began to read his Bible and pray in silence as was his custom.
After a period of time the man sitting next to Smith confided with him that a great fear had come over him that he was going to die, so he asked Smith why this had occurred. The other four passengers also felt the same fear, so he then spoke to them about conviction and the way of salvation and they all accepted the Lord.
Charles G. Finney 1792 – 1875
Excerpt from his memoirs, circa 1868
Another circumstance occurred which I must not fail to notice. There was a cotton manufactory on the Oriskany creek, a little above Whitesboro, a place now called New York Mills. It was owned by a Mr. Wolcott, an unconverted man, but a gentleman of high standing and good morals. My brother-in-law. Mr. George Andrews, was at that time superintendent of the factory. I was invited to go and preach at that place, and went up one evening and preached in the village schoolhouse, which was of large size and was crowded to its utmost capacity. The Word, I could see, took powerful effect among the people, especially among the young people who were at work in the factory.
The next morning after breakfast, I went into the factory to look through it. As I went through the factory I observed there was a good deal of agitation among those that were busy at their looms, and their mules, and other implements of work. On passing through one of the apartments where a great number of young women were attending to their spinning or weaving, I observed a couple of them eyeing me, and speaking very earnestly to each other; and I could see that they were a good deal agitated, although they both laughed. I went slowly toward them. They saw me coming, and were evidently much excited. The thread of one of the machines broke, and I observed that the girl’s hands trembled so that she could not mend it. I approached slowly, looking on each side at the machinery as I passed, but observed that this girl grew more and more agitated, and could not proceed with her work. When I came within eight or ten feet of her, I looked solemnly at her. She observed it, and was quite overcome, and sunk down, and burst into tears. That impression caught almost like powder, and in a few moments nearly all in the room were in tears.
This feeling spread through the factory. Mr. Wolcott, the owner of the establishment, was present, and seeing the state of things, he said to the superintendent, “Stop the mill, and let the people attend to religion; for it is more important that our souls should be saved than that this factory run.” The gate was immediately shut down, and the factory stopped–but where should we assemble? The superintendent suggested that the mule room was large; and the mules being run up, we could assemble there. We did so, and a more powerful meeting I scarcely ever saw. It went on with great power. The building was large, and had a great many people in it from the garret to the cellar. The revival went through the mill with astonishing power, and in the course of a few days nearly all in the mill were hopefully converted.
Many have claimed that the Welsh Revival was the greatest revival in history, based on its tremendous power and worldwide impact. The revival’s visible leaders were largely children and teenagers. Evan Roberts, the revivals best known leader was only 26 years old. There were no great speakers or dynamic leaders, only nameless believers, sold out to God and fully obedient to the voice of the Holy Spirit. Many of the world’s most renowned Christian leaders came from all corners of the world to marvel and sit at the feet of these children entirely under the powerful influence of the Holy Spirit.
One of the central themes of the revival was that God wasn’t looking for great eloquence, impressive leadership or great wisdom, He was looking for those who were humble and obedient to the voice of the Spirit, who despised worldly acclaim and desired above all else to exult God only! One truly astonishing feature of this revival was the absence of planning and promotion, everything was done under the spontaneous leading of the Holy Spirit.
Jesus was always the main attraction in the revival, speakers and singers were not announced. When the meetings began there was no telling what was going to happen.
My Prayer: God, I want my life to accurately reflect You. I want to be an ambassador of reconciliation, not because of who I am but because of who You are. You have saved me; I desire others to know the depths of Your love and experience Your goodness, Your peace, and the fullness of being loved by You. Amen.
Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.8Pr 3:5-6 NIV
Consider: When I lean on my own understanding, in addition to not trusting God, am I not also closing my ears towards God?
We acknowledge him by agreeing with and speaking the truth. Is confession not agreeing with God? Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life.2Joh 14:6 NIV Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No-one comes to the Father except through me. The enemy wants me to fear punishment and hide my sins.3Joh 3:20-21 NIV Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God.” The truth sets me free!4Joh 8:32 AV And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.The truth enables me to boldly come to the throne of grace and obtain mercy.5Heb 4:16 AV Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. Do I not need mercy when I am at my worst?6Ro 5:6-11 NIV You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! For if, when we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! Not only is this so, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.Paul knew this so he counted everything as lost to be saturated in the mercy and grace of God.71Ti 1:15-16 NIV Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst. But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his unlimited patience as an example for those who would believe on him and receive eternal life.8Php 3:8-9 NIV What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith.God’s power is made perfect in weakness.92Co 12:9 NIV But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.102Co 4:7 NIV But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.
Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and shun evil.11Pr 3:7 NIV
Consider:“Fear the Lord and shun evil” –do we shun evil out of fear? Don’t we choose sin because we think it to be good in some way? Choosing what I think is good –isn’t that being wise in my own eyes?
My Confession: I find myself on my knees nearly every night confessing my sins and failures through out the day. Today I asked the Lord why I keep doing the same things over and over.12Pr 26:11 NIV As a dog returns to its vomit, so a fool repeats his folly.He simply replied, “You can start your day on your knees or end it on your knees.” After contemplating His response, I realized the outcome is radically different! One focuses on God and the other on self; the one acknowledges a dependence on God and the other how “I” mismanaged “my” day.
My Prayer: God, I desire to start on my knees and give You the first fruits of everyday!13Pr 3:9-10 AV Honour the LORD with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase: So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine.Please forgive me for leaning on my own understanding, trusting in myself and being wise in my own eyes. Please teach me to acknowledge you in all of my ways and give you the glory and honor that you alone deserve. Please direct my paths, to shun evil and not turn to the right or the left but instead, to walk in your ways.14De 5:32-33 NIV So be careful to do what the LORD your God has commanded you; do not turn aside to the right or to the left. Walk in all the way that the LORD your God has commanded you, so that you may live and prosper and prolong your days in the land that you will possess.